When married couples separate there is an entitlement to an Equalization of Net Family Property (N.F.P.). There are two dates that are very important in the determination of the N.F.P. The first is the date of marriage, and the second is the date of separation (valuation day). Except for a jointly owned matrimonial home, those are the basically the dates that the value of property is determined. Property consists of anything of value and includes but is not limited to the following; land, houses, cottages, rental properties, cash, bank accounts, savings bonds, R.R.S.P's, pensions, jewellery, art work, furniture, household contents, personal items, stocks and any business interest. The value of any debts at the date of marriage and date of separation are also factored in as are any gifts from third parties or inheritances received during the marriage.
Preparing a proper financial statement at the time of separation and obtaining valuations and statements to prove the assets and liabilities is very important. Often valuators and accountants can be of great assistance in providing the proper amounts to use.
It is important to know that it is an an equalization of net family property and not an equalization of debts.
Only the Superior Court of Justice can deal with property issues. property division is a complicated area of family law and you should conuslt a Family Law Lawyer who has experience in the area of Property Division.
Common law spouses do not have the same property division rights as married couples do. As such it is very important that you structure your asset`s and liabilities in a manner that protects you.